by Benson Eluma
Sister Mustard died someplace
Mount Ebola, I think, in Africa.
They planted a mine on the headstone
For a curious little boy to play with.
Kaboom! and his lost limbs made
A weeklong presence on international news.
Sister Mustard turned
And smiled in her death…
The ants worked hard in the sun
Following the ancient wisdom.
But this year the rains did not fall; they waxed
Lyrical, Hard Rock melting sand-home and barn.
Afterwards, camera crews rushed
To scoop water; their
Precision instruments detailing
The wreckage to the last microscopic fractal…
The poetaster wrote his dying song
After so many years of ruing the ignominy
Of his verse, the evil recalcitrance of his stylus.
He sent it out, a warning to others trying the impossible.
But the critics, hard up for new conundrums,
Overturned every stone;
They scoured every cave
To lay laurels at his unmarked grave…
And Daodu, born on the first day
In the Year of Jubilee, a complete set of teeth
Fortifying his infant gums,
Died a plenipotentiary with 300 monuments.
And the worms went to work on the annals.
And floods ravaged the city year after year.
And finally a generation arose in whose memory
Daodu’s name, undecipherable, was a dead talisman…
Used by permission.

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